It's a very exciting day in my career as a micro-financier! My first loan, made on August 1, 2007 to Dung Truong Thi of VietNam, has been repaid! Dung borrowed $75 from three lenders to expand her pig raising business. Dung repaid her loan $9 per month, and made the final payment today. Congratulations, Dung! I hope your business is thriving and that you have been able to allow your children to continue their educations.
Once a Kiva loan is repaid, you have the option of getting your money back, or relending the funds. I have chosen the latter option. The newest recipient is Phou Ly of Cambodia, who is borrowing $1,200 to expand her restaurant in Phnom Penh. She will be repaying her loan over the next 10 months.
As for my other loan, the news isn't quite as good. Julita Milka Aoko Onyango of Kenya borrowed $350 back in August to add charcoal and paraffin to the stock of goods she can offer for sale in the Kongowea Market in Mombasa. While Julita had been repaying her loans, the ethnic violence that erupted in Kenya back in January interrupted her business and she hasn't made a payment on her loan since December. Kiva has not been able to provide any news about specific borrowers, so I don't know what's going on with her, or even if she is still alive. A small payment was made last month, but not by Julita, and it's not clear to me what's going on. I hope Julita is alive and that her business is still extant, and that she will be able to repay her loan as the political situation in Kenya continues to stabilize.
Once again, let me say that there is simply no better way to address the problem of international development than through microfinance organizations like Kiva. The money goes directly to those who both need it and can best make use of it. A look at the website reveals scores of people asking for second and third loans to expand their businesses. I am proud that I have been able to help Dung, Julita, and Phou, and I hope to expand my lending in the future. Please consider lending!